Sequel to Iruka's Heart by Fastforward/r3b3lliousr3b3l/Sarge. You should read it first, trust me. fanfiction . net /s/3780240/1/IrukasPain (minus the spaces) I had her permission to write this and I am so glad she likes it. . I needed to write Iruka a happy ending because she made me cry. The way she writes pain is extremely compelling and makes her one of my favorite author's to read. I suggest reading everything by her.
yaoi.y-gallery . net/view/437363/ (minus the spaces) I commissioned art for this from Demona(y-galelry) / Demonic-Demona(deviantart) please check it out. It's gorgeous.
Summary: "Iruka loves Kakashi with all his heart"- Sarge - But does Kakashi feel the same, and does it even matter.
Kakashi excused himself shortly after Iruka left, relieved 'Yamato' didn't seem to notice his anxiety. The copy-nin followed his lover but didn't try to catch the other man's attention. He had to do this. Iruka deserved better. He deserved more than Kakashi had to offer him.
The bright lovable chunin deserved some one who was a better person. Iruka needed somebody who didn't constantly fail the ones he loved. He deserved to have somebody who wasn't so socially inept, he had trouble even telling his most precious person how he felt. And, most importantly, somebody who wasn't bound to get himself killed and leave the chunin broken. That was why he'd decided it had to end now, before it was too late, and he broke more than the other man's heart. Even at the cost of his own.
He sat on the roof, listening to the sound of Iruka getting ready for bed. A couple of times, he tried to sneak in, to say goodbye, when he thought Iruka had finally fallen asleep. But, each time, the chunin came awake and looked for him, and he'd had to jutsu away to avoid being discovered.
Iruka wouldn't leave him if he realized how much it was tearing Kakashi up inside. He knew that, so he had to stay back, had to push the chunin away. But, /he/ needed to say goodbye, even if it would go unheard by the other man.
At some point, a few hours before sunrise, the dark-haired man finally fell asleep, the silent tears still falling from his eyes. Kakashi crawled into bed, careful not to wake Iruka, and held his most precious person one last time.
"Goodbye, Ruka." The whisper was choked out as he forced himself to finally break the contact. He couldn't risk the other waking up to find him there, so he left before the sun could rise and wake his lover.
The tags clinked against the stone as Iruka dropped them in the one place he knew his lover would find them. He could do this, as long as he didn't actually have to see Kakashi. He'd set them both free even if it killed him. Tears threatened but the chunin refused to cry. Instead, he swallowed hard and turned around, needing to be anywhere but there right then.
Iruka understood what he was losing, but he knew he couldn't take another day of pretending it didn't hurt. He knew he'd fall apart if he had listen to one more lie. Kakashi was slowly killing him with his ambivalence, but the chunin knew the other man wouldn't leave him, he'd simply let him fade away, forgotten. It didn't matter, though, because even sitting right beside him talking to him, the jounin wasn't really there with him. It ripped out his soul knowing that Kakashi didn't feel the same, but he would still give the man what he longed for, freedom. He loved the other man too much not to.
He was practically to the memorial when he noticed it. The faint sparkle of metal in the early morning light. People often left things at the stone but rarely this early in the day. Usually, he was the only one here, most preferring to visit in the evening. It was only after he'd actually picked them up that he'd realized what they were, and who they belonged to.
His own name glinted back at him on the small metal dog tags that he'd given Iruka, when he'd finally managed to actually utter the words that most terrified him. Iruka's eyes had gone wide when he'd slipped them around the man's tan neck. The kiss had been soft and brief, but the smile, for once, hadn't been hidden by his mask, and the words had simply slipped out. His own words had surprised him. He'd intended to let the tags speak for him, because he'd been trying for months to say it, but had never gotten past the first word. And, he supposed, in their own way, they had.
Now, clutching at the chain, it felt as though he'd been rejected. As though the words were now meaningless. And, maybe they were, but it wasn't what he'd expected. Kakashi had thought the chunin would keep them. He supposed it had been a stupid thing to think. But, as he wiped the tears away, he knew it had merely been a vain hope that the other wouldn't let go, wouldn't let /him/ go. And, it was in that moment, staring at the trinket, that he realized what he'd lost.
Iruka stared, confused, at the scene before him. Kakashi sat in one corner of the living room, curled up with his head buried in his knees, his arms wrapped around them. He was shaking, and it took Iruka a moment to realize why.
He'd only ever seen Kakashi cry twice. Both times had been at the memorial, once on Naruto's birthday, and then again on what he'd later found out was the anniversary of the day the other had become a jounin. And, even then, they'd been silent tears, not the wracking sobs that shook the man the way they were right now.
He was stunned, terrified, and confused all at once. The turmoil keeping him immobile by the door. A part of him wanted to hold Kakashi, and another part kept screaming that it was a bad idea. Iruka knew he wouldn't leave if he didn't do so right now. And, he knew that if he didn't, if Kakashi didn't push him away the moment Iruka touched him, he would as soon as the tears stopped. Things would go back to the way they were before, and then he'd be forgotten, a nuisance, just like he was before. He also knew he wouldn't survive that a second time.
So, he didn't know what made him go to the other and pull him into his arms. In the end, he supposed he just couldn't bear to see the copy-nin looking so utterly destroyed.
"Shhh..." he whispered, not knowing what he should say, or even truly what was wrong.
At first, Kakashi didn't seem to even register that he was there. That fact alone scared the chunin nearly as much as the man crying had. When the copy nin finally lifted his head to look at him, Iruka bit his lip to keep the surprise from registering on his face. His hitai-ate was gone, probably dropped somewhere, and his mask was down. It tore at his heart to see Kakashi, the usually calm man, looking so lost. The mismatched eyes, red and puffy, blinking at him.
"Ruka?" The question rasped out of a throat hoarse from crying as the silver-haired man looked from Iruka to his own hand. The action drew the chunin's attention, and he looked down where the hand clutched around something. Gently, Iruka pried the pale hand open.
He stared at the dog tags, anxiety welling up inside his chest. When Kakashi reached up and looped the chain over his head, Iruka's heart clenched, leaving him feeling as though he couldn't breath. The once cherished bits of metal hung heavy around his neck, feeling more and more like a chain around his heart.
Sighing, he let himself be pulled into the jounin's arms. "I'm yours. I won't go anywhere. I can't." He nearly choked on the words. "Never could." The resignation echoed in the tears now sliding down his own cheeks.
It was true, he knew it, in the end he belonged to Kakashi. Even if the only reason the other wanted him was out of some twisted loyalty. The thought stung, but he couldn't fool himself into believing the other wanted him for any other reason. Not when he hadn't really even looked at Iruka in months.
"I'm sorry," Kakashi whispered, shaking even now that Iruka was with him. "I tried, I swear..." His voice cracked. "I'm sorry. I love you." The two sentences very nearly one.
"Don't, please. I can't bear that lie anymore. So, please, just stop saying it." Iruka said, choking on the words. "I said I'd stay, I'm yours, just please don't make me believe that lie again."
Kakashi tilted the man's chin up, but Iruka refused to meet his eyes. So, he did the one thing he could think of to prove his words. He pleaded without words for Iruka to believe him.
Iruka didn't move when Kakashi pressed pale lips against his own. The kiss was soft, the gentleness of the lie tearing a whimper from the chunin's throat. His own words echoing in his mind. 'Please, don't make me believe that lie again. Anything but that.' And still, he couldn't pull away, even as his heart was slowly being crushed.
"I love you. I wish it was a lie, but it's not," Kakashi said, breaking the kiss. The words seemed to pull still more tears from the copy nin. He was sniffling, the tears streaming down his face, and the words were barely audible over sobs. "You weren't supposed to come back yet. I was going to leave, I would have been gone. You weren't supposed to come home yet."
Iruka stared, unable to hide the pain and confusion he felt. He didn't understand. Kakashi was acting as though he meant it, as though it was Iruka who wanted this. But, no matter how he tried, he couldn't find his voice. He couldn't find the words to ask why Kakashi was doing this to him.
"I'm sorry..." The words trailed off as though there was more the jounin wanted to say and couldn't.
Instead of wiping away his own tears, Iruka reached out and brushed aside the ones clinging to Kakashi's cheeks. And then, he leaned forward and kissed away the ones on the other man's lips. All the while, he could feel himself breaking inside. He didn't care anymore. If it took the pain from his lover's eyes, then he wanted the lie to be true.
The action, however, only seemed to make things worse as Kakashi pulled him close, sobbing and clinging to him all over again. The apology falling with the tears seemingly endless.
"I'm so sorry, Iruka. I thought I could do it, I really did. I'm sorry, please, believe me." Kakashi was clutching at him, burying his face in Iruka's neck, and the chunin let him. His heart ached as he realized the rest of what the man was saying. "I tried to make you go. I'm sorry, Ruka, I'm so sorry." It hurt more to know his pain had been deliberate. "But, then you did, and I... I just couldn't."
Iruka was angry suddenly. Kakashi had let him suffer on purpose. He shoved, hard, and managed to get enough space between them that he could look the copy-nin in the eyes. "Why?" His voice was surprisingly quiet despite how angry he felt.
The mismatched eyes went wide with shock, but only for a brief moment before Kakashi looked away.
"NO! Look at me!" He shoved the other other man in the shoulder again. "Tell me! Tell me why you would even do that!" Iruka was yelling, even though he knew it probably made no difference. "TELL ME!"
Kakashi didn't look at him when he spoke. "You deserve better." The tears had stopped, likely from the shock of being yelled at. But, the man was still sniffling, and his voice shook. "I'm not good enough for you, no one is."
Despite that, Iruka wanted to hit him. "Damn you, Kakashi," he seethed. And then, the copy nin looked at him, and his heart broke all over again. He pressed his forehead against Kakashi. "Stupid jounin," he muttered weakly.
They sat there, the silence hanging between them and dragging on for far too long, as each tried to figure the other out.
"I'm sorry, Ru." Kakashi finally whispered, still not moving.
"Idiot." Iruka glared at him, but it lacked real anger.
"I love you." One of Kakashi's hands was rubbing small circles into the chunin's back.
"You're an idiot." The anger was fading, but it was still there.
"I know." The jounin's other hand came up to Iruka's cheek, wiping the tears away with the back of his fingers before cupping the tanned face. "But, I do love you, and I am sorry I hurt you." Iruka closed his eyes as the man's thumb brushed across his scar.
"Just so you know. I don't care if you think I deserve something more. I don't agree. I deserve to have the one I love." A tear slipped down his cheek, but it was alone. "Even if he is an idiot." He smiled, finally opening his eyes again to look directly at Kakashi.
"Who is he?" The jounin laughed weakly, still shaking slightly.
Yamato slipped into the booth beside the two men, smiling. The chunin stiffened slightly until a hand slid into his.
"Hello, 'Yamato'," Kakashi said, smiling.
"Hello, senpai, Iruka." A look slid between the chunin and ANBU.
"Hello, Yamato." Iruka smiled, but it didn't quite reach his eyes.
The conversation fell into it's usual rhythm, except this time Kakashi kept shooting glances at the man beside him, and he kept squeezing Iruka's hand gently. A few questions were directed at him, and the chunin would answer, but the answers were short.
Their meal arrived and, shortly after, the younger man stood up, and Kakashi tugged on his hand anxiously. Iruka smiled softly and leaned over to place a small kiss the mask covered face. "I'll be right back, promise." He whispered the words, but the man sitting across from them still appeared to hear. Kakashi simply nodded and released his lover's hand.
As he did, a bit of metal flashed in the dim light. Yamato waited until Iruka disappeared before he spoke, however. "Congratulations. Why didn't you tell me, senpai?"
"Hn." The blush gave away more than the noncommittal answer.
"He wears his on the right hand, why is that?" The oddity had drawn his attention.
"It's so they touch," Kakashi muttered, his cheeks darkening.
"Ah, you mean when you hold hands." Yamato let the amusement be heard in his voice. "That's sweet."
The copy-nin nodded but didn't say anything more, so Yamato changed the subject. As amusing as it would be to tease his senpai more, he decided it was probably better if he didn't, as the man seemed a little insecure without the chunin right beside him.
Of course, he'd wondered for awhile if there was something going on between the two, but after the last time they'd had dinner, he'd come to the conclusion it was one sided. He was glad he was wrong.